Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Tribunal Should Summon Top Leaders: Sam Rainsy

Human sculls are displayed in the stupa of Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "killing field" dotted with mass graves about nine miles (15 kilometers) south of Phnom Penh.
Human sculls are displayed in the stupa of Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "killing field" dotted with mass graves about nine miles (15 kilometers) south of Phnom Penh.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer

More than 500 opposition supporters gathered at the “killing fields” of Choeung Ek outside Phnom Penh on Tuesday, to mark the anniversary of the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1970.

In a speech broadcast from exile, opposition leader Sam Rainsy urged the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal to summon some of the nation’s highest-ranking leaders to testify at the court.

No senior leader of the current government has answered summonses from the court, including Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Finance Minister Keat Chhon.

Choeung Ek was a mass gravesite where Khmer Rouge victims were executed after they were tortured at the Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. The leader of the prison, Duch, was sentenced to life in prison by the tribunal earlier this year.

Three more leaders—Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary—are currently on trial at the court. The tribunal is expected to hold hearings on Wednesday concerning the regime’s ministries of foreign affairs and commerce and the Boeung Trabek internment camp in Phnom Penh.

Sam Rainsy said Tuesday that senior leaders within the government must be brought to the court to testify. He did not name the leaders who should be summoned. But he said top leaders today “know well” the details of the Khmer Rouge leadership.

A tribunal spokesman said the list of witnesses who will testify remains confidential and that decisions are made only by the international and local judges of the hybrid court.

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Defense Teams Leave Khmer Rouge Tribunal Hearingi
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Defense lawyers for Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan boycotted an opening hearing for the two men on Friday, leaving the courtroom and putting the second and final phase of the trial for the two men in limbo. Nuon Chea’s team has asked for a disqualification of four judges, while Khieu Samphan’s team has asked for an appeal on an initial judgment against him. Neither request has yet been heard, but tribunal officials say they will be. It remains unclear what will happen next with the hearing. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

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